It’s Ace Week, everybody! In honor of the announcement of the Ultraman Connection Live Holiday Special 2022, this week’s content is all themed around the Ambassador from the Galactic Federation himself, Ultraman Ace, as well as his famous foes and counterparts across the multiverse. To start, however, the question must be asked: Why go back and watch Ultraman Ace?
Well of course it is more than worth it! This is Ultraman Connection; do you think we’re going to tell you not to watch an Ultraman series?
Here are just a few of the many, many reasons why the fifth Ultra Brother’s story is so remarkable!
Double the Heroism!
Ultraman Ace is the first and so far, only Ultraman series to have a pair of co-protagonists, the hot-headed Seiji Hokuto and the kindhearted Yuko Minami. Both heroes were bonded with the titular Ultraman, and both needed to work together to transform into Ultraman Ace!
In addition, Yuko was one of the first main female protagonists in the entire tokusatsu genre, blazing a trail for future protagonists like Ultraman R/B’s Asahi Minato/Ultrawoman Grigio! The bond between her and Seiji is one of the best aspects of the show, and the two have undeniable chemistry as partners. All of the best parts of their personalities combining to make Ultraman Ace a hero like none other, even in the Ultraman series!
Ace came out in 1972, over half a decade after the original Ultra Q and Ultraman, and only a year after the first human-sized superhero series had hit the airwaves and added a new, action-heavy slant to the tokusatsu genre’s general zeitgeist. The Ultraman series embraced this new direction, and while it didn’t lose the key qualities that made it great, the series embraced more action and spectacle, not just in its effects, but in its choreography. The famous “Ultra-Touch” sequence Seiji and Yuko use to transform is an example of this. High-flying action, no motorcycle required!
In addition, the fight choreography and effects are some of the most visceral and frenetic that the Ultraman series ever put to screen, with a wide variety of cool and experimental beam effects (something that informed Ace’s skillset in future appearances) and an array of highly engaging (and occasionally stunningly brutal) fight scenes that have to be seen to be believed.
The Terrible Terrible-Monsters!
The kaiju of the Ultraman series are often complicated creatures with unique personal circumstances, making their conflicts with Earth and Ultraman somewhat ambiguous. Not so for the monstrous threats of Ultraman Ace. Instead, viewers were introduced to the other-dimensional intelligence, Yapool, and his Terrible-Monsters!
Yapool was the very first series-long big bad in Ultra history. Bioengineered to be pure, conscience-free engines of destruction for the purpose of spreading the terror Yapool craves, these horrors came equipped with cyborg weaponry, eldritch powers, and an endless cavalcade of fearsome designs, making them some of the most diverse and threatening foes ever faced by any Ultraman; with many of these Terrible-Monsters returning as threats in the present day!
Ultraman Ace features appearances by all previous Ultraman heroes, including Ultraman, Zoffy, Ultraseven, and Ultraman Jack. These are not cameos, making the series rich with lore and pivotal to canon. Ace would reappear throughout the Ultraman franchise, most recently in Ultraman Z, where he was revealed to be Zett’s godfather, and Ultra Galaxy Fight: The Destined Crossroad, where he strikes a pivotal blow against the Absolutian stronghold.
Ultraman Ace, like many Ultraman series, has been made available as a Blu-ray set sold by Mill Creek! All 52 episodes of the series, each one with its own terrifying threat and over-the-top action scenes, are available wherever fine media is sold. If you want to learn more about Ultraman Ace and the upcoming Ultraman Connection Live Holiday Special 2022, stay close to Ultraman Connection during Ace Week!